Cote d'Ivoire

French army tried to kill me, says ex-Ivorian president Gbagbo

Former Côte d'Ivoire president Laurent Gbagbo has filed a legal case accusing the French army of his attempted assassination during the April operation to remove him by force from his residence in Abidjan.   


France and the United Nations backed the forces of Gbagbo’s rival and the country’s new ruler, Alassane Ouattara, in the offensive which saw Gbagbo and his wife Simone placed under house arrest.

Gbagbo had refused to accept defeat in a November poll and the country suffered four months of clashes between his forces and those loyal to his rival Ouattara.

France has denied the accusation and says its forces, and those of the United Nations Operation in Côte d'Ivoire, only had a supporting role.

“At no time did French forces enter the presidential gardens or residence” said general staff spokesman Colonel Thierry Burkhard.

Bruno Koné, spokesman for the current government in Côte d'Ivoire, said it was up to the French justice system to decide what happened:“There is no need to try and deform history, everything was done to protect Laurent Gbagbo’s life.”

The former president and his wife have been charged with economic crimes and President Ouattara says he wants to see them tried before the International Criminal Court.

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